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Survey found few Obamacare site visitors

Updated: 2013-11-04T21:06:05Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

Seventeen percent of Americans who potentially are eligible for coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace visited the Obamacare site last month, according to a survey released Monday.

The Commonwealth Fund analyzed attempts to buy coverage on the Internet, by phone, by mail or in person between Oct. 9 and 27.

The trouble-plagued health insurance site launched Oct. 1, and most would-be buyers were unable to get through the registration process.

The Commonwealth Fund survey found that 682 of 4,035 individuals surveyed were potentially eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act because they were currently uninsured or were buying health insurance through the individual market.

Sixty percent of the eligible purchasers said they were aware of the federal and state marketplaces established by the ACA, and 53 percent said they knew that financial help to cover premium costs might be available for them.

The financial help would take the form of federal tax credits.

Consumers’ level of awareness improved by about one third over what was found by a similar survey earlier this year.

According to the survey, more than half of those who are potentially eligible for coverage but had not enrolled yet said they were likely to try to enroll or at least learn more by March 31, the end of the open enrollment period for 2014 coverage.

The survey found that 1 in 5 of the marketplace site visitors were between 19 and 29 years old. About one-half of the visitors were between 30 and 49 years old. Three-fourths of the site visitors described themselves as being in good, very good or excellent health.

About half of the site visitors said they tried to find out whether they were eligible for premium subsidies based on their household income.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of the health reform law, and 38 percent said their view was unfavorable.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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